Are Banana Peppers Spicy? A Look at This Mild Yet Flavorful Pepper

Hungarian wax pepper, Italian pepperoncini, bell peppers, jalapeños — the world glorifies peppers for their spicing effect, health benefits, and taste enhancement. However, one question brings everything into perspective:

Are banana peppers spicy?

There aren’t limits to how you can use peppers, but can the sweet yellow banana chili spice up your dishes?

Sweet Banana Peppers In Detail

Unlike other spicy food condiments and pepper types, banana chilis have a sweet and mild taste. Calling banana peppers spicy might be a bit of a stretch as their flavor is typically tangy.

The pepper is bright yellow, long, and looks like a banana, earning it its name. Other people call them banana chilis or yellow wax pepper.

Due to their high fiber content, banana peppers are filling despite being low in calories. The chili is also packed with:

  • Vitamin C, which plays a role in controlling blood pressure
  • Vitamin B6 improves brain function
  • Capsicin compound that may play a role ins addressing obesity and related health concerns

Are Banana Peppers The Same as Pepperoncini Peppers?

While banana peppers and pepperoncini are similar in many ways, the two pepper are distinct in three ways:

  • Heat: Pepperoncini measure in 100-500 Scoville Units while the banana-like shape chili measure in at 0-500 SHU.
  • Appearance: Banana peppers are curved and yellowish, while pepperoncini are similar in size and shape but with wrinkling skin.
  • Flavor: The two peppers have similar tastes and are nearly indistinguishable when prickled. However, hot Italian pepperoncini aren’t as sweet but have a twinge of bitterness.

Due to almost similar flavors and almost equal heating effect, many people use banana peppers and pepperoncini interchangeably.

Hot Banana Pepper vs. Jalapeno Peppers and Hungarian Wax Peppers

People love jalapenos and Hungarian Wax Peppers, but how do they compare with banana peppers? To find out, we’re going to compare the two in terms of:

  • Hottness
  • Taste
  • How the peppers look

How Does Banana Chili Hotness Compare with Other Chillies

Even though jalapenos don’t fall into the extra-hot category, they are hotter than banana peppers. Banana peppers offer between 0 and 500 Scoville Heat Units (SHU), placing them in the mild peppers category.

Jalapenos pepper is hotter, measuring between 2500 and 8000 SHU. The hottest Banana chili is five times milder than the mildest jalapeno.

Hungarian yellow wax peppers are among the hottest and have a heat capacity of 1500-15000 SHU.

What’s the Taste Difference Between Banana Peppers and Other Chillies?

Unripe banana pepper rings have a slightly tangy taste with a bit of sweetness that intensifies as they ripen. Banana peppers are typically eaten in their unripened state (while still yellow/green).

On the flip side, unripe green jalapenos have a vegetable, grassy taste. They can be slightly bitter. As they ripen, jalapenos take on more sweetness and lose some bitterness.

The Hungarian wax pepper has a sweet, slightly hot flavor. The difference with the banana chili is only the hotness level.

How Do The Physical Appearance of The Chillies Compare

The size of banana peppers ranges between two and three inches long and have a distinctive pale yellow-green associated with banana fruit. The pickled pepper widens toward the stem and narrows to a blunt point. The pepper can be deeply curved or straight.

Banana peppers’ walls are almost translucent when green and change to yellow color, orange, or red when they ripen.

Jalapeno peppers are slightly smaller, measuring two and a half to three inches long, and are consistently bullet-shaped. The chilies are smooth, usually straight, with rounded tips. Jalapenos come in different colors, such as yellow and purple, but most ripen to red.

Factors Affect The Spiciness of Banana Peppers

Like anything else in the pepper family, what affects the spiciness of banana peppers is the maturity of the chilly. The ripest banana pepper is typically bright yellow and is sweeter than the younger ones.

Post-harvest handling also affects the spiciness of banana peppers. The hue and flavor will change if you put the banana peppers outdoors to ripe further. Putting the chilly in the refrigerator will hold or extinguish further development.

How Spicy is Pickle Banana Peppers on the Scoville Scale?

Banana pepper typically ranges from 0 to 500 on the Scoville Scale, which is considered mild and non-spicy.

The heat levels of banana peppers vary depending on the variety. The most common banana peppers, yellow wax peppers, have mild to medium heat levels. The red banana pepper is spicer, hot, and sweet and has a medium to hot level.

The hottest banana peppers, red chili peppers, can range from very hot to extremely hot.

Fresh Banana Pepper Recipes

There are several ways you can use mature banana pepper in cooking, but we want to focus on the most popular uses:

  • Add stuffed banana peppers to salads to boost the flavor.
  • Use fresh banana peppers in sandwiches, wraps, and burgers.
  • Combine onion, garlic, pickled banana peppers, and pepperoncini for a mouth-watering side dish.
  • Use it instead of bell pepper (capsicum annuum) to stir cooked dishes and fries.

Balancing The Heat Banana Peppers with Other Ingredients

Depending on your desired effect, you can balance the heat of banana pepper differently.

  1. Add sweet ingredients such as honey, brown sugar, or agave syrup to reduce the pepper’s heat. The sweetness will counteract the spicy heat resulting in a milder flavor.
  2. Add acidic ingredients such as sour cream, greek yogurt, or mayonnaise to neutralize the capsaicin in the pepper.
  3. Add cooling ingredients such as fresh herbs, diced tomatoes, and cucumbers to reduce the pepper’s heat.

The Mild Sweet Pepper Isn’t Spicy Can Go Beyond Toppings 

Like any pickled product, banana peppers are great for adding acidity, brightness, and a slight bit of heat to any dish. 

You can slice Pickled banana peppers into rings and use them for topping, sandwiches, pizzas, toast, nachos, tacos, and salads. 

FAQs on Banana Peppers

Can Banana Peppers be used as a substitute for other spicy peppers?

You can use pickled banana peppers as a substitute for other chili peppers like bell peppers and pepperoncini because their heat levels are almost similar. However, you can’t substitute the pepper with spicier options like jalapeno because their heat levels vary greatly.

How can I make my Banana Peppers less spicy?

You can make banana peppers less spicy in several ways, including:
Removing the seed and white membrane from the inside of the peppers
Boiling the pepper for 8-10 minutes
Roasting the pepper in the oven until the skin is slightly charred
Using the ingredients that balance the heat, such as tomato sauce

Are there any health benefits to eating Banana Peppers?

Eating the curved shape banana pepper has several health benefits, such as, lowering blood pressure, improving brain function, and fighting obesity

How do I store Banana Peppers?

You can store sweet banana peppers in several ways, including refrigeration, freezing, pickling, canning, and drying.

Can I grow my Banana Peppers at home?

Like most pepper varieties growing banana peppers plants in your home garden is easy. You can also grow them on balconies and small places in your home.